Posts Tagged ‘gift ideas’

Teacher Gift Ideas for the Pinterest-Challenged

Monday, December 5th, 2016

teacher giftsI am terrible at crafts.

As a mom in 2016, I feel like there needs to be a support group for that. We could each take a turn, standing in a room, and recite, “I am terrible at crafts.” Then we disclose all of our crafting fails (like when I spent hundreds of dollars on a vinyl machine that sat in a drawer for a year and a half, doing nothing, because I didn’t accept that I was terrible at crafts), and then we eat store-bought baked goods until we either forgive ourselves of our shortcomings or are numb to the pain of our shortcomings.

The holidays seem to shine a spotlight on all crafty shortcomings, as it is the season where social media is peppered with everyone’s latest creation. It seems that the greatest of pressures for this is on the gift that is given to the teacher.

I think the idea behind this is that with multiple children in school, gifts can get expensive, so this allows you to provide something that is thoughtful, but inexpensive. Or perhaps it’s just like high school all over again, except instead it’s shaming me for not knowing how to adequately use a hot glue gun instead of a flat iron. Regardless of emotional and psychological barriers to crafting the perfect teacher gift, here are some ideas for those of us who break out into a cold sweat at the mention of Pinterest:

  • Gift cards. Sure, they can be impersonal. But think about the wide range appeal, the ease in wrapping, the ability to grab it in the check-out line at the grocery store when you are buying milk at 9:00 at night. Get a gift card that allows the teacher to treat themselves to a coffee or ice cream, or to get something lovely at the bookstore. Get them a gift card to Target, because everyone loves Target. Everyone.
  • Office supplies, fun edition! Yes, office supplies can be fun! Brightly colored sharpies, fun shaped post-it notes, and markers designed for sniffing that won’t make people think you might have a drug problem.
  • A thoughtful, handwritten note. Speaking fully as a social worker, I know what it feels like to be in a profession where you want to help people, and frequently only hear any feedback when things go wrong. Think about it; the last time you emailed your kid’s teacher, it was probably because something wasn’t working out well. So writing a note to express your gratitude that your kid has a safe place to learn every day can mean the world to someone who often only hears about the bad stuff.
  • And finally, a quote from the comments section of an article I read when researching teacher gifts: “One year my husband brought home another large box of gifts he had received from his early elementary-aged students for Christmas: a couple of fun ties, several boxes of chocolates and chocolate-covered cherries, mugs, ornaments, gift cards, items related to his hobbies, homemade treats, and many lovely cards and notes from students and families. Then I noticed a ceramic collie (dog), which was medium-sized and chipped in a couple of places. It looked like maybe it had been around for awhile (sic). I asked if the staff had a white elephant exchange or where the collie came from. He explained that it was a gift from a student who really didn’t have anything…but wanted to give something special. I don’t think any gesture or gift could have honored my husband more.”

So be thoughtful. Or don’t. The options are endless, even when you aren’t on Pinterest.

Keighty Brigman is terrible at crafting, throwing birthday parties, and making sure there isn’t food on her face. Allegedly, her four children manage to love her anyway. 

Mother’s Day “Grandma Gift” Idea…

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and would you believe it, I actually have it a little more together than usual this year! Grandma presents are made and ready to be shipped…all 5 of them. Yep, we are blessed to have 5 family members to celebrate on Mother’s Day (well actually 6 if I include myself in the count…which I guess I should?).

I kept our handmade gifts super simple this year which in large contributes to why they are completed more than a week in advance. I have learned a few important lessons over the years of living far from family and having to celebrate most occasions from a distance: 1) I need to be extra organized when it comes to gift giving to account for the time and cost of shipping.  2) Certain gifts ship better than others…basically flat, non-fragile, and lightweight works best.

Armed with determination and a 25% off coupon, we headed to Micheal’s on a mission: Operation Grandma Gift 2013. Displayed right at the entrance of the store we found these plain wooden frames that fit my shipping criteria. Plus with my coupon they would only be .75cents a piece…score! I encouraged the boys to pick out whatever 5 they liked.

After a super tedious  careful selection process of deciding on what frames to get, we made our way to the wooden craft area so they could pick out decorations for the frames. This was also a very lengthy thoughtful process for the older two boys. Izzy however took all of two seconds to decide. Once he saw the basketballs, he was done looking. It is interesting how at a very young age a child will pick out a gift based on what they like; however as they get older they are more apt to take into consideration what the person receiving the gift might like. This pretty much demonstrates a direct parallel of the development of self and relationships. 🙂

The boys were super excited to head home so they could paint and decorate their picture frames. This was the first time I can recall that the time spent painting outlasted the time I spent cleaning up an art activity. Woohoo! I definitely enjoyed that and hope its an omen of more good things to come.

Izzy hasn’t quite grasped the concept of glitter just yet. He loves the stuff, but the idea of squeezing glue and then sprinkling glitter on it doesn’t quite compute in his two year old brain. He prefers to open the top and dump it all out in a pile.Then he lifts up the paper to show me and all the glitter falls right off his paper. It’s quite a lovely mess, but I don’t mind too much. Because my favorite part of messy glitter art projects is that without fail my hubby will go to work the next day with rogue pieces of glitter stuck to him. Is it mean of me not to say “Hey honey you have glitter on your cheek?” when he walks out the door in the morning? I like to think it makes his day at the office more interesting…or at least it provides amusement for his co-workers? 🙂

We spent a total of $10 on art supplies to make 5 pictures frames. Not too shabby, huh? Plus they turned out super cute if I do say so myself. Hopefully the grandmas like them too. And for any of our grandmas that happen to see this blog post before Mother’s Day, hope you enjoyed this sneak peak of your gift.

Apparently art work is exhausting…

Abraham passed out on the stairs shortly after he finished our project. Jonah, our doggie, also joined him in the foyer for a little snooze.

What are your kids making for Mother’s Day gifts? I know we have lots of uber crafty mamas here…would love to hear from you or better yet see some pics of your handmade goodies!